Sunday, October 30, 2011

Midnight In Paris

Another short guy discovers that Ms Bruni doesnt take direction well
It's safe to say that Woody Allen skews to an older demographic. The missus and I went to see Midnight In Paris and we were easily the youngest people in the cinema by maybe thirty years. MIP is a time travel yarn that rips off Christopher Reeve's Somewhere In Time, setting it in 1920's Paris and 2010, er, Paris. The best thing about the film was casting Owen Wilson in the lead. With another leading actor the film would be a pretentious obnoxious mess, but Wilson's naivete and Texas charm allows us to believe in his character. This might be his best role since Dignan in Bottle Rocket. Unfortunately Wilson's surrounded by cardboard cut outs. Cut outs of Hemingway, Picasso, Scott Fitzgerald, Bunuel, TS Eliot etc. but cut outs none the less. The other bit of inspired casting was getting Carla Bruni for a small role, she was pretty good and it has to be said that the French First Lady appeals to men of a certain age. 
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Midnight In Paris is harmless enough and has one or two laughs (I liked the Djuna Barnes joke) and there's some nice shots of Montmartre at night. It's all really a bit of fluff, probably best watched on DVD. I do think that it's an interesting dinner party question to ask which city in which era would have been the most fascinating to live in. Paris in the twenties does sound enticing, as does Paris in the 1950's - that's probably the one I'd pick, but I'd also be intrigued by Vienna around 1900, London in the 1590s, first century Rome and fifth century BC Athens. 
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Anyway, if the last movie you saw was The King's Speech and you're itching for another flick then this is probably the film for you. Be prepared to stay until the very end of the credits because the people on either side of you will need assistance getting up.